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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tongue Tied

I'd mentioned before that Star was born with tongue tie or Ankyloglossia.  For those who don't know what that is, it's where the frenulum is too short and/or thick which restricts the movement of the tongue. 

Tongue tied!  The frenulum went all the way to the tip of her tongue and was very short.

Star was diagnosed with tongue tie while she was still in the hospital after being born.  She was unable to stick her tongue past her gums (which would put her at a distinct disadvantage should she ever have the need to stick her tongue out at someone, right?)  Because I chose not to breastfeed this time around, the tongue tie didn't cause any problems with feeding, but we still decided to get her tongue clipped (or have a "frenotomy" performed) at an early age.  I'd spoken with friends and family who had experience with it, and they all said to get it over with while she was still so little that it wasn't a big deal.  If we waited until she got older, the healing would probably take longer because she'd have teeth and her speech might already have be affected.

So yesterday, I took Star to the ENT specialist to get her tongue clipped.  My mom came along for moral support.  Star was tired when they began the procedure and so, when the nurse wrapped her up in the "papoose"  to keep her arms and legs still, she started smiling happily, thinking that she was being swaddled for a nap.  Then, instead of a pacifier, she got a cotton swab with a numbing gel pushed under her tongue and the smiles were gone.  I knew that the procedure itself was pretty painless, and that Star was screaming mostly because she was being held down, poked, and prodded, when all she wanted was a nap, but after a minute of watching her scream and fight the doctor and nurses, I was out of there with tears in my eyes.  My mom stayed in the room with her, which I really appreciated because I didn't want Star to be alone.

After a few agonizing minutes, they were done and I got to hold Star.  She really wanted her pacifier, but I had to hold a piece of gauze under her tongue for a few minutes to make sure that the bleeding stopped.

The doctor wasn't able to clip the tongue as far back as she normally goes since Star's tongue tie was so severe, but Star does have a much greater range of motion than she did before.

All in all, the whole thing wasn't really a big deal and was done quickly.  

Glad that's over with!

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  1. Glad you have that behind you! Star is such a little cutie!

    My son Benjamin who is now 4 had to have his tongue clipped when he was 10 days old. He slept through the procedure while I held him so I know it didn't hurt, but seeing a doctor go into my baby's mouth with tiny scissors is still pretty traumatic. I was breastfeeding so the change afterward was dramatic!

  2. Poor thing! I am a new follower and a fellow MN blogger! I look forward to reading more about you and your kids! Stop by my blog sometime and say hello!


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